Gardens require work, and for two people who are firmly against spraying any type of chemical on their plants, gardens require a lot of work. We spend hours on our hands and knees pulling weeds. We chase and yell at squirrels. I’d like to share a less labor-intensive (and less your-neighbors-think-you’re-nuts) organic method we found for keeping bugs from eating our plants. But first, a photo update:
We spread hay last weekend as a mulch to hold in moisture and keep weeds from springing up.
A row of broccoli + tomato plants
Squash, beets, pumpkin, and strawberries
A couple of weeks ago I walked outside to check on the roses. They had been looking healthy, and my primary motivation was to see if there were any buds yet. When I looked at them, however, I saw that the caterpillars, aphids, and some other bugs were enjoying a rose buffet. They were absolutely devouring the leaves and the new buds.
I did some quick research and read in a few places that garlic-infused water is effective in getting rid of bugs when sprayed on plants. I figured it was worth a shot! Andrew and I crushed a bunch of garlic cloves, put them in a large bowl of water, and let them sit overnight. The next day I removed as many garlic chunks from the water as possible (or what I thought was possible; apparently I could have done better…), found a spray nozzle, and doused the roses and bugs.
I did manage to break the nozzle, unfortunately. A small chunk of garlic lodged itself permanently somewhere in the tube. Andrew asked me if I strained the water.
“I did the best I could. The internet said to strain it with a cheese cloth. Who the heck has a cheese cloth sitting around??”
“What about a coffee filter?”
“I didn’t think about that.”
“It even has the word ‘filter’ in its name.”
So, if you decide to try this method, definitely strain the water with a coffee filter.
I am happy to say that it worked! The following day the bugs were completely gone, with the exception of one dead caterpillar that looked like it had been burned in half by the garlic. (You’re welcome for that visual.) While there are obviously still holes in the leaves and some of the buds, we haven’t seen any bugs in weeks. Crushed garlic, for the win!
The first rose of the season
We are looking forward to more bug-free roses throughout the summer as well as lots of fresh fruits and veggies!
Do you know any effective methods for controlling garden pests organically? Have you tried garlic spray?
I would have never thought about a coffee filter either. Good to know! For critters I use 2 eggs, 1 cup milk and Franks Red Hot….throw it all in the blender. Add it to a gallon of water and spray. I spray after every rain. This last spring we had some major flooding and the critters and deer got to the ‘buffet’ before I could reapply. Normally it works and I don’t typically see a bug problem either by using this solution. Good luck!
Nice! I will keep this in mind. We don’t have a deer problem, but squirrels are all over the place!